Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Q and A

this in response to NP Odyssey's comment regarding ways we can update patient information and help with visit efficiency; Thought it was a "pearl" worth posting (why do I actually hate the "clinical pearls" term, somehow it rubs me the wrong way.. but it's universally used and therefore understood... it fills in the same category with me that "midlevel provider" does)....

Here it is;

one thing that can really help [with preparing for an efficient visit] is an agenda setting form that the MA has the patient fill out prior to the visit, it can have the patient list the three things they want to address in the vist, and also ask if they have been seen in the ED/specialist (so you can get the record), gotten any labs or studies done (so you can get the result ready), and if they need any forms filled out (so they/you can get a head start)... this helps to focus the visit from the start, and helps the provider enter the room prepared (by a handy MA who read the agenda form!).... it's an amazingly simple way to help with visit efficiency and also empower MAs to their highest licensure level (part of the patient centered medical home model). Tom Bodenheimer at UCSF is doing some great research regarding similar strategies to combat the ever increasing demands of primary care;


  1. This is a great idea that I would love to add to my practice. I would like to add to this concept as well. In my recent job search as a new NP I shadowed a physician in a pain management practice. They had a similiar approach in that they had the patient fill out a sheet identifying where there pain was located, different codes to describe their pain, recent changes in their health, new meds and a review of systems checklist. It definitely helped the MD focus right in on the current status of the patient. I thought this is a great way to allocate time during the visit to patient education. I would like to add this to my practice.
    Great tip, thanks for sharing!

  2. I also have tried to implement a check sheet to help speed me up at work. Unfortunately, I seem to take way more care of their mental health than I do the physical one. That still takes up a lot of time. It is worth it though if it helps!